Friday, July 25, 2014

When "no soliciting" definitely means YOU!: "You got any kids?"

A month or so ago, Hubs was watching TV on the couch.  K was doing something downstairs and I was doing something in the bedroom.  A guy knocked and knocked on our front door.  He wouldn't stop.  Finally, Hubs answered the door.  The guy's first line out of his mouth?  "You got any kids?"

"Um, no."

Who comes to your door and asks such a thing but a creeper?

The guy had a girl with him and was soliciting for children in the neighborhood to come to his house for Backyard Bible Club.  He gave Hubs the information and after Hubs closed the door, he came to me and said, "You'll never believe what just happened."  He told me the story.  He said that he didn't answer the door because it says "no soliciting" and people generally pick up on that.

Throughout the night and even the next day, Hubs would creep around a corner and say, "You got any kids?"

As we walked that night, we talked about it at length.  We both decided that it would probably be good for me to write a letter to the sponsoring church to let them know our experience.  Here's what I wrote:
A few evenings ago, a gentleman and his daughter came to our home.  Despite the fact that both of our doors have signs that say "no solicitors, please" on them, my husband said that they just wouldn't stop knocking.  (We don't answer the door if it is someone we don't know.)  The man's leading line when my husband finally got the beating on the door to stop was, "You got any kids?"  My husband was taken aback a bit.  We do have a child, but people shouldn't be coming door to door to shop for children.  In this day and age, it just isn't safe for either the children nor the person asking.  My husband said no.  We were given a card anyway and the man and his child pressed on.  When regaled with this story that concerned my husband, my comment was, "Who doesn't that besides a creeper?"  We weren't the only ones concerned.  [Our] neighbor . . .  now has a large "no solicitors" sign posted to their front door.  They are very protective of their child, too and he is even a prison guard.  I fear that this individual isn't bringing people to you, but turning more people away.

We are very active in our church.  I understand wanting to bring children and their families to Christ.  I've directed VBS for many years myself.  I appreciate the enthusiasm and hard work that can be involved with such an endeavor.

The idea of backyard bible clubs being marketed to children and families unknown to your church is a sticky area.  Your parishioner is willing to open up their home to strangers.  That is a huge danger, especially when it says, "parents and guardians are invited to stay for refreshments."  It also opens the club leader up to accusations.  I understand that by spanning out to the surrounding areas to parishioners homes may seem like you are offering a less overwhelming, less judgmental way to lead into getting folks to the brick and mortar church building.  It also opens the church up to a lot of potential liability later on.

We are in the - - - - area.  We wish you and your church well, but wanted to bring our concerns to you.  They aren't concerns of just our family, but of families on our street.  
I realize now that I deleted the response, but the pastor said that it took some days for him to get back to me because he relayed the message to his outreach teams in charge of the BYBC.  It rounded out to the fact that he and his peers decided that "you were bothered."  It wasn't so much that I was bothered.  Yes, we were bothered that we ask that people don't knock, but they do.  Aimee and I were just having a conversation about knocking and not answering this morning.  I understand that social convention suggests that you answer the door no matter what.  However, there are home invasions and people who case houses and whatnot.  It is my option whether I want to answer the door or not.  I don't have to and Hubs doesn't have to.  We've taught K NOT to answer the door if it is someone she doesn't know.  Creepers are out there and it isn't up to me to find out who is and who isn't.

What's your take on the Backyard Bible Club phenomenon?  I understand the basic idea and if they are kids who you know, super.  I'm just not a big fan.

1 comment:

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

When we first moved in the Jehova's would come here all the time. I don't like to be read so I would just tell them that I'm Catholic, take their Lamp Lighter and wish them well. Well, they took that as "having me on the hook" and one Saturday came back to take me to their hall to make me a Jehova. Hubs ran them off. Now I don't open the door. Yea...